Looking ahead ///

Demand to resume growth in second quarter. The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated in its monthly Oil Market Report that global oil demand is expected to continue growing in second-quarter 2002. This forecast comes despite a sharper-than-predicted decline of about 680,000 bopd in the first quarter. The positive forecast on second-quarter demand is spurred by the recovering, global economy and strong demand from power generators in parts of Western Europe. The agency’s report also mentioned that rising prices pose a downside risk to demand forecasts. Partly responsible for the higher prices is the geopolitical risk premium that has been factored into the price, thus muting initial market response to events, such as Venezuelan unrest and the Middle East crisis.

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